Model Railroads/noisy motor


Hi, I just received 2 Bachmann N scale Alco RS3 loco's DCC for my N scale layout and they are the noisiest motors I've ever had.  What can be done to make them quieter? Is there a quieter motor I can interchange with the one that came with them?

Thank You
Tim L.

Although I have only limited knowledge about motor noise, its causes and cures, I have a few ideas which may help you.

Sometimes noise that comes from a new locomotive may eventually abate, especially if there is some roughness in the casting of the gears.  With continued use, sometimes some of this kind of noise will become less noticeable.

However, most noise comes from lack of sufficient lubrication, even in new locos. I am aware of a number of ideas that can help.  First, be aware that many gears are made from either nylon or delrin or another kind of slippery plastic and probably will not need much if any kind of lubrication.

If you want to use some oil, grease or graphite to try and lessen the noise, be aware that you must use a plastic-compatible formula made especially for our hobby.  I've read that wheels and other rolling issues are sometimes helped by a very light oil but regular gears and worm gears associated with the drivetrain will benefit from a very light application of grease and that over lubrication can cause more problems than it solves.

Check with your local hobby shop or online retailer to see what is available and what it's intended purpose is.  Also check out the various forums and discussion boards, of which there are a great many, for additional ideas.  Chances are you are not the first or only person to have had this kind of issue.

Good luck!  

Model Railroads

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Larry Weinberg


I can answer many questions regarding N scale model railroading in general as well as questions about the NY Central System, especially questions about the N scale models of their passenger and freight cars.


I have been a model railroader since 1949 and have been an N scale modeler since 1971. I have an extensive N scale collection as well as an extensive model and prototype library to consult.

I am a member of about two dozen online forums covering N scale model railroading and the New York Central System. I am a member of the Northern Westchester Model Railroad Club.

College graduate/Retired.

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